CAIRO, Egypt, 26 April 2004
Assiut is the hub of Upper Egypt – a city that has a large university, many educational institutions and a vibrant economic history. However, Assiut also has a chronically high unemployment rate among its educated young people with over 20% being unemployed according to official statistics in 2002. APC member in Egypt, ArabDev, has been working with Assiut Childhood and Development Association (ACDA) to counteract unemployment with IT skills training for the local job market.
ArabDev and ACDA are ready to begin a skills training for employment project, and have carried out an area survey to identify the skills needed for potential employment. The problem is: lack of computers. The Ministry of Telecommunications has been promising ArabDev ten computers for the project for the last two years and still none have arrived due to red tape. ACDA has five antiquated computers that are unfit for training.
ACDA is also helping women that are victims of domestic violence to find some outlet. Local traditions prevent women from going to shelters, so providing these women with training and a job is their only way out of a violent family home. “There are many young people who are waiting to start their training,” says ArabDev director, Leila Hassanin. “The project has been on hold due to the lack of computers and we are in dire need of hardware to improve the harsh circumstances of these women.”
ACDA has approached ArabDev for assistance in advocating against domestic violence using ICTs with special focus on the internet due to the ease and quickness of information dissemination through it. ACDA wants to set up an electronic network between local individuals, community leaders, educators and other authority figures to spread news, alerts and information regarding domestic violence and marriages that are carried out under a dubious civil contract that has become popular recently and which deprives women marrying under it of all legal rights. In contrast, religious marriage contracts demand financial obligations of the husband. ACDA sees that an e-network can convey the information and alerts easier, without needing to get people physically together in a meeting place and therefore will help speed up working on solutions to help local women and girls.
ArabDev is appealing for assistance to help make this computer training a reality. You can find out more about how you can help by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.